OPINION: US legal privilege ruling is a landmark

The US court decision last week on the extension of attorney-client privilege to discussions between lawyers, clients and their PR advisers is momentous.

District court judge Lewis Kaplan might have been speaking for the entire litigation PR sector when he said: 'In some circumstances, the advocacy of a client's case in the public forum will be important to achieve a fair and just result in pending or threatened litigation.'

Although the lawyer's creed of client confidentiality is anathema to the PRO's faith in openness - and although UK legal minds insist this ruling will not apply over here just yet - all long journeys begin with a single step.

In most corporations the general counsel outranks the top communicator, has a seat on the board, a bigger pay-packet and a bigger budget.

The statement this ruling makes about the inequity of that state of affairs cannot be overstated.

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